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The Central Asian Ovcharka is a unique breed, created by the climate of their native land. These dogs are territorial guard dogs that are protective of their property and their people. They are a large and powerful breed, but they are loyal and loving with the people they know and trust.
The Central Asian Ovcharka has a fascinating history; experts believe that it dates back over 5,000 years, making it one of the oldest known groups of dogs.
Unlike other breeds, the Central Asian Ovcharka developed out of necessity. This breed is particularly adaptable to their terrain, and you'll find different individual breed types of Ovcharka throughout Central Asia based on the area's geography.
The former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) gets credit for standardizing the breed in the 1920s; after the USSR dissolved, the modern version became the Central Asian Ovcharka.
Today, these dogs are still used as guard dogs by nomadic tribes, as they are incredibly territorial and possessive of their people and area.
The Central Asian Ovcharka has different characteristics depending on where they live; most Central Asian Ovcharkas are possessive and territorial.
Their massive size—up to 150 pounds—can be intimidating. Once they've bonded to you, however, the Central Asian Ovcharka is loyal and loving, if not somewhat needy.
The breed is generally large, moderately long, and robust with triangular ears, a deep, broad chest, and a thick tail carried in a sickle curve or curled in a loose ring.
The Central Asian Ovcharka has a straight, coarse undercoat with short, dense hair on the head and front of the limbs. The outer coat can be short or long, and they can be any color except blue and brown in any combination and black mantle on tan.
Weighing in at around 150 pounds, the Central Asian Ovcharka's domineering size is its most distinctive physical trait. This muscular breed generally requires little grooming throughout the year, but when they do shed once a year, it's often referred to as a "fur storm."
The Central Asian Ovcharka is not a breed for the first-time pet parent, and it's not suited to apartment life because of their size.
This breed is stubborn, fiercely protective, and territorial; they love to dig and bark, and require a lot of attention from their families.
With the proper training, though, the Central Asian Ovcharka makes a good companion and excellent watchdog for the seasoned dog owner who is willing to be patient and give this breed the proper attention and care that it craves.
The Central Asian Ovcharka is an extra-large breed. Because of this, it requires a well-proportioned and highly nutritious diet, unique for its digestive needs and any additional health concerns.
It's important to monitor the amount of food and treats that you give your Central Asian Ovcharka, especially since some dogs may be prone to gaining weight as they age. Your veterinarian is always a good source to help provide you with appropriate nutrition and feeding guidelines.
In general, the Central Asian Ovcharka is a breed that requires little care for its coarse coat, and a once-weekly grooming and occasional bath should suffice.
On the once-a-year-occasion when the breed sheds, however, it's often referred to as a "fur storm," and daily grooming will become necessary.
All dogs require regular dental care, including at-home teeth brushing and professional dental cleanings, and the Central Asian Ovcharka is no exception. Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for their overall long-term health.
The Central Asian Ovcharka is a low-energy dog, but they require a daily walk or round of play in a fenced-in area to stay healthy.
You must always keep this breed on a leash—they're independent and can take off at a moment's notice, especially if they feel any sense of danger.
The Central Asian Ovcharka is a strong-willed, independent breed; these qualities, while useful in guarding, can make it challenging to train. Training is essential, however, because this breed is very territorial and protective.
Even with the proper training, the Central Asian Ovcharka will likely be wary of strangers, so having guests over might be difficult.
Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa is a skin disorder that causes blistering of the skin and irritations in the oral cavity and upper digestive tract. These disease signs may diminish around 8 months of age.
Knowing if your Central Asian Ovcharka is a carrier or at-risk for these conditions can help you and your veterinarian plan for your pup's lifelong care. With Wisdom Panel™ Premium, you can get results for over 200 genetic health tests.
Reviewed 26 July 2020 by Cindy Elston, DVM, MPH